Almost 4,000 students in grades 6-12 remain unvaccinated in the Vigo County School Corporation, despite new state regulations. Gail Whitfield with the Vigo County Health Department Clinic said she does not understand why so many students still haven’t gotten their shots.
“I really don’t know the reason they’re not meeting it because adequate opportunity has been given through the health department, and clinics started as early as early summer all the way down through the end of the year, and the last several clinics we’ve had were greater than a 50% no show,” she said.
But Ray Azar, the school corporation’s Director of Student Services contends there has not been adequate opportunity for students to receive the shots, and therefore they can’t be prevented from attending class.
“Because the availability of the vaccine and the availability of locations to get the vaccine has not been adequate to serve the population and therefore we just don’t think it’s fair to penalize students from coming to school because they’re not able to get the vaccine,” Azar said.
Vaccines that students are required to have going into their new school year include the meningococcal vaccine, the Tdap — which includes tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis — and a chickenpox vaccination. Azar said the school corporation is looking for help in making sure its students are vaccinated properly. Azar did say students eventually will be prevented from going to school if they still haven’t had their shots, but could not provide a time line for that.